What Is CBT?
And How is it Used in Addiction Treatment?

CBT, which stands for cognitive behavioral therapy, is one of the most trusted evidence-based therapies used in the mental and behavioral health industries. CBT is one of the core ways we help clients to understand their own negative thoughts and how they affect behavior. Though specific techniques and practices can vary depending on the therapist, client, and reason for therapy, all CBT follows certain philosophies and rules.

Below, you can learn more about CBT, how it works, and how it helps strengthen the recovery process for clients at Extra Mile Recovery.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Addiction Treatment

What Is CBT And How Does It Work?

CBT actually describes the majority of talk therapies (psychotherapies). It’s based on the premise that a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions all influence each other. We may not be able to directly control our emotions, but we can change the unhealthy ways we think and the toxic behaviors we’ve developed over time, which makes it easier to enact positive change.

One of the most important takeaways from this is that often, our perception and reaction to a situation is more important than the situation itself when it comes to mental health.

CBT frequently explores situations, events, or triggers in a client’s life, then unpacks what the client thinks about those things, how that makes the client feel, and how the client acts in response. From there, we can work to find and practice healthier responses.

How Is CBT Different from DBT And Other Therapies?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is its own form of therapy, but there are also many specialized therapies that are types of CBT. For example, DBT (dialectical behavior therapy) is a form of CBT that is more focused on practical ways to manage and live with painful feelings, rather than fully unearthing and resolving those feelings. So, DBT is a specific type of CBT.

Some therapies don’t fall under CBT’s umbrella, but utilize its principles. Our dual-diagnosis treatment is designed to unravel the complicated ways that addiction and other mental illnesses feed into each other, but it can use the basics of cognitive behavioral therapy to help clients understand these interactions.

However, not all addiction therapies involve CBT. We offer specialized EMDR therapy for trauma, which has the client connect traumatic memories to external stimuli or physical actions, desensitizing themselves to it. We also offer 12-step immersion, a set sequence of steps to follow for addiction recovery. Neither of these require the in-depth emotional exploration that CBT offers.

How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Work

How Is CBT Used in Drug & Alcohol Rehab Programming?

CBT is one of the primary tools we use to help clients unmask the root causes of their addiction. By exploring what triggers or emotions cause a client’s cravings, we can identify what unmet needs the client is trying to fulfill through substance abuse, whether that’s an untreated mental illness, trauma, physical pain, or relief from any number of life’s challenges. Once we identify those needs, we can find other, healthier ways to meet them.

It’s important to note that everyone’s needs are different and require personal attention. We offer truly individualized, one-on-one therapy and substance abuse counseling to help clients analyze their personal needs, specific thought processes and reactions, and then to guide them into healthier thinking and responses.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at Extra Mile Recovery

As we said above, CBT is a crucial therapy at Extra Mile Recovery, but it’s far from the only modality we use. CBT lays the groundwork for the client to find practical coping mechanisms through DBT, identify the traumas to be treated with EMDR, explore the conflicting mental health conditions involved in a dual diagnosis, and even understand why some of the 12-steps may be challenging to them. In our small, all-male groups and on our remote, peaceful rehab campus in Mississippi, clients can find the acceptance and peace they need to look deeply at themselves and find their path forward into a successful life in recovery.

To learn more about our cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT-adjacent services, please call Extra Mile Recovery at 662-810-4146 today.

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